Gov. Lujan Grisham announces $10 million state investment in Bear Canyon Dam project
Dam repairs critically needed, structure rated as ‘poor’
SILVER CITY – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham was joined by Lt. Gov. Howie Morales, state and local officials and members of the public on Thursday to break ground on the Bear Canyon Dam project, which the governor is supporting through $10 million in state funding.
“Investing in our state’s infrastructure is vital to the success of our communities and our economy,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform our state through projects like the one we’re celebrating today, and I am committed to getting infrastructure dollars into communities in every corner of New Mexico.”
The dam is rated as being in poor condition by the Office of the State Engineer. The dam, built in the 1930s, has not seen significant repairs since the 1990s. The project will include reinforcing the structure surface with compacted concrete, adding a new auxiliary spillway and removing debris from below the dam.
The reservoir is an important economic driver for the region and draws hundreds of anglers, campers and hikers every year. The reservoir also supports farming and ranching communities on the Mimbres River.
“This historic dam is in much need of repair and this project is designed to stop erosion and prevent the potential for catastrophic flooding,” said NMDGF director Michael Sloane. “I am proud of the efforts the state is undertaking to make sure this continues to be an oasis for recreation.”
“Rehabilitating Bear Canyon Dam provides benefits to the agricultural community as well as those who like to recreate in the area and gives us peace of mind that this vital infrastructure will be safe and reliable for years to come,” said State Engineer Mike Hamman.